§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the action of the proprietors of the Wingfield and Mackintosh estate, Abercanaid, Merthyr, who have refused to sell or lease land to the Merthyr Borough Council for the erection of workmen's dwellings on the plea that the housing scheme of the council does not seem to be of any advantage to the estate; and whether it is intended, by legislation or otherwise, to take from landowners the power to withhold land when required for housing or other public uses?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Burns)
The Prime Minister has asked me to reply to this question. The town council have sent me a copy of a letter which they have received from the solicitors to the owners of the estate referred to, and which is to the effect stated in the question. Local authorities are already empowered by Section 57 of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890, to apply to the. Local Government Board to enable them to purchase land compulsorily for the purpose of providing houses for the working classes, and, I may add, that under the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Bill now before Parliament, the procedure in relation to this matter is proposed to be considerably simplified and improved.